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Salmon Fishery Statistics – 2010 Season

Summary

  • Total rod catch (retained and released) for 2010 is the highest on record, an increase of 31% from the previous 5-year average.
  • The proportion of the rod catch accounted for by catch and release continues to increase. In 2010, 86% of rod caught spring salmon were released, as was 70% of the annual rod salmon and grilse catch.
  • Trends in rod catch vary among individual stock components. Reported catch of spring salmon shows a general decline since records began and, although there is some indication that spring salmon catch has stabilised in recent years, it remains at a historically low level. Grilse catch, on the other hand, has increased over the period while the catch of summer salmon shows little overall trend.
  • Catch and effort for both fixed engine and net & coble fisheries remain at historically low levels, and are less than 7% of the maximum recorded for each fishery since records began in 1952.
  • Salmon and grilse of farmed origin represented 0.1% of the total catch in 2010. Their distribution was highly uneven, the North West and Solway regions accounting for 82% of reports.

Current status of stocks

The total rod catch (retained and released) in 2010 showed a substantial increase compared to the previous 5-year average. Further, taken over the time series since 1952, annual rod catch has shown a slight increase and are currently at the high end of the observed range. This may be taken as evidence of an increase in the numbers of fish entering fresh water and, given the high levels of reported catch and release, escaping to spawn.

However, the status of stocks on smaller geographical scales (e.g. among or within catchments) may differ both from each other and also from the overall assessments presented above. The long term decline in the total rod catch of spring salmon suggests that the populations associated with this stock component may be particularly weak.